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Teacher Training Program

The Teacher Training Program (TTP) is for those wishing to become qualified Kadampa Buddhist Teachers

Through a deep and continuing commitment to the program of study, meditation, discussion, and retreat, we can gain deep experience of Buddha’s teachings, establish a strong meditation practice, and become a qualified teacher in our own right.

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The Teacher Training Program exists to provide extensive training for those wishing to become qualified teachers of Modern Kadampa Buddhism.

The program is centered around the study of various Buddhist subjects as explained in the collection of books written by founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.

In addition to completing the study of fourteen texts of Sutra and Tantra, including the six texts studied on the Foundation Program, students are required to observe certain commitments, and to complete a number of meditation retreats each year.

Program Structure


Students sign up to complete all the books in the program and undertake to attend every class, to learn the material, and to take tests at various intervals throughout the study of each book. Class meets twice a week for two hours. If for a suitable reason a student is not able to attend the class in person, he or she is expected to listen to the class recording and submit a summary.

TTP students are also encouraged to attend one or all of the several monthly ritual pujas, Offering to the Spiritual Guide and Melodious Drum.

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Class Structure


Prior to class, students study an assigned portion of the text, usually a few pages long, and memorize the essential points. The class begins with chanted prayers and guided meditation. The teacher then reads the assigned portion from the book while giving commentary to the text.

Afterwards the students divide into pairs to discuss the section. The teacher and students then conclude with suggestions for what to meditate on in the next class and how to practice during the week.

TTP Curriculum

The program comprises the following twelve subjects, based on Buddha’s Sutra and Tantra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:

Twelve subjects, 14 books


1. The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune

2. Training the Mind, based on the commentaries Universal Compassion and The New Eight Steps to Happiness

3. The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary The New Heart of Wisdom

4. Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold

5. Types of Mind, based on the commentary How to Understand the Mind

6. Guide to the Middle Way, based on the commentary Ocean of Nectar

7. Vajrayana Mahamudra, based on the commentary Clear Light of Bliss

8. The Bodhisattva’s Moral Discipline, based on the commentary The Bodhisattva Vow

9. Offering to the Spiritual Guide, based on the commentaries Great Treasury of Merit and Mahamudra Tantra

10. Vajrayogini Tantra, based on the commentary New Guide to Dakini Land

11. Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, based on the commentary Tantric Grounds and Paths

12. The Practice of Heruka Body Mandala, based on the commentary Essence of Vajrayana


program teacher

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Gen Kelsang Tabkay, Resident Teacher of KMC Phoenix

Admission to the program


It is highly encouraged for students to have first attended General Program or Foundation Program classes for some time before deciding to join Teacher Training Program. The Teacher Training Program takes approximately twelve years to complete and requires an enrollment procedure. Students should be motivated to benefit others through the flourishing of Kadampa Buddhism. 

The cost is $85 a month to become a monthly member which also includes General Program classes at the Center and branches, and weekend events and retreats at the Center. Empowerments for members are discounted.

To find out more about the Teacher Training Program, contact

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